As of January 2022, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Washington, and Washington, DC, mandate paid leave for an employee’s own health condition. Oregon and Colorado will begin similar programs in 2023. Except for Hawaii and Puerto Rico, these jurisdictions also require paid family leave for bonding with a new child, caring for a seriously ill or injured family member, and certain other purposes. Despite some common elements, differences in these mandates make compliance and administration particularly challenging for multistate employers.
Common elements in nearly all of these programs include:
- Overseen and/or administered by the state/district agency (except in Hawaii)
- Funded at least partially by employees (except in Washington, DC)
- Provide partial wage replacement for qualified leave
- Include leave for reasons similar to what the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows
- Require leave to run concurrently with FMLA (when both apply)
- Determine employee eligibility by work location (not residence)
- Require employee documentation of need for leave
- Limit total leave duration within a 12-month period
- Annually update contributions and maximum benefits (except in Puerto Rico)
Other common elements among some programs include:
- Job protections
- Intermittent leave available
- Continuation of health benefits
- Employer contributions
- Employer voluntary/private plan option
New paid family and medical leave (PFML) programs
This is the first year that PFML benefits are available in Connecticut. Oregon has delayed the start of contributions to its program from 2022 until 2023, with benefits starting later that year. Colorado’s voter-approved program contributions will begin in 2023, with benefits first available in 2024. In addition, New Hampshire’s voluntary PFML program, established by the Granite State Paid Family Leave Act (2021 Ch. 91, HB 2), has a target start date of Jan. 1, 2023. More details on New Hampshire’s program are expected to emerge after the March 31, 2022, deadline to begin an insurance bidding process.
Highlights of 2022 paid disability/medical and family leave rates
Each jurisdiction has posted its 2022 contribution rates, taxable wage base and maximum weekly benefit amounts. New York’s and Puerto Rico’s disability benefits are set by law and don’t change annually. Here are highlights of the 2022 updates.
The State Disability Insurance (SDI) taxable wage base is $145,600 in 2022, an increase from $128,298 in 2021. The employee contribution rate, which includes both SDI and paid family leave (PFL), has decreased from 1.2% of wages (up to the taxable wage base) in 2021 to 1.1% in 2022. The 2022 maximum weekly benefit of $1,540 reflects an increase from the 2021 maximum of $1,357.
The Connecticut maximum weekly PFML benefit of $780 in January 2022 will increase to $840 on July 1, 2022. The employee 2022 contribution is 0.5% of wages up to the annually adjusted Social Security maximum taxable earnings ($147,000).
The 2022 Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) weekly wage base has increased to $1,200.30 from $1,102.90 in 2021. Hawaii law permits employee contributions of up 0.5% of wages (capped at the weekly wage base), with a maximum weekly contribution of $6.00, up from $5.51 in 2021. The 2022 maximum weekly benefit is $697, an increase from $640 in 2021. Hawaii doesn’t currently have a paid family leave mandate or program.
The state’s PFML benefits are calculated using the employee’s and the state average weekly wage (AWW). The maximum weekly benefit amount for 2022 is $1,084.31 per week, up from $850 in 2021. Total contributions in 2022 have decreased to 0.68% from 0.75% of an employee’s wages up to the Social Security maximum taxable earnings ($147,000). Employers with at least 25 Massachusetts employees owe a medical leave contribution of 0.336% in 2022, down from 0.372% in 2021. Employees’ 2022 contributions also have dropped to 0.12% for family leave and 0.224% for medical leave.
The 2022 taxable wage base is $151,900, up from $138,200 in 2021, for both Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) and Family Leave Insurance (FLI). For 2022, the employee contribution rate for TDI is 0.14%. The 2022 FLI contribution rate is 0.14%, for a combined employee contribution of 0.28%. The maximum weekly benefit for TDI or FLI beginning in 2022 is $993, up from $903 in 2021.
The disability benefits law (DBL) sets employee contributions equal to 0.5% of wages up to a maximum of $0.60 per week. The maximum weekly benefit for a nonwork-related disability is $170. These statutory amounts have remained unchanged since 1989 and are distinct from the state’s annually adjusted PFL benefit.
The 2022 employee contribution rate for PFL coverage remains unchanged at 0.511% of an employee’s wages. This includes a 0.005% risk adjustment for COVID-19 claims. Contributions are limited to an annual maximum of $423.71 in 2022, up from a 2021 annual maximum contribution of $385.34. The weekly PFL benefit is 67% of an employee’s average weekly wage to a maximum weekly benefit of $1,068.36, an increase from $971.61 in 2021.
The disability law permits employee contributions at the rate of 0.3% of wages up to $9,000. The maximum weekly benefit is $113 ($55 for agricultural workers). These statutory amounts haven’t changed since July 1972.
The 2022 taxable wage base is $81,500 up from $74,000 in 2021, for combined TDI and Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI) programs. The 2022 employee contribution rate has dropped from 1.3% to 1.1% of wages. Rhode Island updates its weekly benefit amount each July. The maximum weekly benefit is $978 for leave beginning on or after July 1, 2021, until a new rate is announced in July 1, 2022. Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, Rhode Island has extended the duration of available family leave from four to five weeks. That amount will rise to six weeks in 2023.
Washington’s 2022 employee contribution rate has increased from a 2021 rate of 0.2533% to 0.4393% of wages up to a taxable wage base of $147,000. Employers with at least 50 employees in the state contribute 0.16068% in 2022, an increase from 0.14668% of wages. The maximum weekly benefit also increases to $1,327 in 2022, up from $1,206 in 2021.
The employer contribution rate is unchanged from the program’s start — 0.62% of DC payroll. Due to the city’s home rule structure, employees can’t be charged an employment tax to help cover the cost of program. The district doesn’t limit contributions to a taxable wage base. For leaves that start on or after Sept. 26, 2021, the Universal Paid Leave (UPL) law adds two weeks of paid prenatal leave, increases the maximum duration of medical leave from two to six weeks, and allows its use for miscarriage or stillbirth. Additionally, UPL permits individuals using both parental/new child bonding leave and prenatal leave to take a total of 10 weeks paid leave in a 52-week period, rather than only 8 weeks. The maximum weekly benefit for leave beginning on or after Sept. 26, 2021, is $1,009.